Question Detail

How can I remember to praise/recognize good behavior before reprimanding poor behavior? I do, but not enough and catch myself after I've recognized the misbehaving students. I don't want to be negative nelly! Any suggestions?

Aug 23, 2014 11:34am

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  • K
  • Behavior


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    • Aug 25, 2014 4:55am

      What a great question! You can even extend this question so you're looking for the good that happens or that you experience each day not just in a classroom/school. It really helps to bring a climate of change in a classroom and life in general. What I had seen other teachers do is that they have a box in front of the room that says "Random act of kindness" and students put in notes about their peers being good. What I had been doing in the past is circulate or work the room (sometimes with a clipboard) trying to hear good things people say during small group discussion. But that's specific. What did work for me though was that the longer I paid attention to a specific behaviour that was said or done, the more my eyes opened to the "good". I just want to find a more systematic way of doing things but with a degree of trust, you can probably have students do it for you too and leave them in a "tip" jar.

      • Aug 27, 2014 4:13pm

        In my last district, we had a PRIDE reward program. The acronym PRIDE stands for perseverance, respect, integrity, determination, and empathy. Any time we saw students exhibiting one of those behaviors, and it really stuck out to us, we put a PRIDE sticker (it was a paw, since our mascot was a lion) on the student's folder. When a student received five stickers, they got a personalized rubber bracelet that we ordered that said PRIDE. Once they had the bracelet, they wore it proudly to show that they were a positive influence on the school culture. Once a quarter, every student with a bracelet and their families got invited to a special breakfast with building admin. It was a big deal. At the end of the year, the two students (girl and boy) with the most stickers for the year received a special recognition and had their names painted on the wall of the school in a giant paw. It became a big part of culture and kept positive reinforcement at the forefront. I would recommend developing a similar program. (:


        • Aug 24, 2014 4:19am

          It is sometimes difficult to "catch" them being good. Often times, a lot of our time is spent on correcting behaviors. I use Class Dojo in my class. I reward students for on-task behavior, homework completion, perseverance, and teamwork. It's free to sign up and you can download the app onto your phone. This makes it easier for me to recognize students following expectations. I also keep a tickets clipped to my name badge. As I circulate, I reward those who are working. At the end of the day, I pull two tickets and students cash them in (for pencils, erasers, tootsie rolls, etc.).

          • Aug 27, 2014 7:48am

            Whole brain teaching ( has some great ideas, too! I was thinking the scoreboard game in particular for you, but many of their other strategies might help cut down on the behaviors.

            • Aug 30, 2014 8:16am

              Good replies on here! I'm trying a couple of the ideas! I found that a positive atmosphere and having good connections to the students makes all the strategies work better along with connections with the parents. I make "Purely Positive" phone calls throughout the year to my middle school kid's parents which really enhance the behavior in the classroom. It is amazing what a 30 second call can do for students at any level. A call about a great score or hard work done that day is easy to make. Notes and emails are "Ok", but not as personal. Also, I sometimes do email a quick message, with a picture taken in class to a parent who I know is at their job during the day with a message like, "We're doing labs, Casey is having fun and working hard!" It only takes a few minutes and is powerful! Later, I record all the positive connections I make during the day. At the end of the year, I can see how many I've made, who received them, and use the data to show the new students on the first day of the next year how I conduct business in my room. (on the smartboard) They figure out fast that "Mom & Dad" are a big part of their learning.

              • Aug 30, 2014 6:14pm

                I teach kindergarten. When the line is not as it should be, I find one child who is standing straight and tall and loudly say, "Wow, I love how .... is standing so nicely. The rest of the children usually get right in line nicely and then I say, " Oh, I love how everyone is standing and ready to go into the hall".
                I also do the same when I want the group on the rug to listen.

                • Aug 31, 2014 5:36am

                  Negative behavior in a classroom is unfortunate. Sometimes the good students fall through the cracks as the negative behavior is being delt with. As an elementary teacher I use many of the suggestions read in this blog. I have also found that giving a high five to the correct answer alerts the "other" students behavior to want attention also. This time in a positive way.

                  • Aug 31, 2014 6:00pm

                    I have implemented Class Dojo in my middle school classroom. I have found that because this program allows you to look at both the positive and negative points I have become more aware of the positive behavior occurring in my classroom. Students also receive immediate feedback and this tend to help deter students from the bad behavior. I highly recommend this tool.